What to Do When Someone Asks You to Speak at an Event
“Are you interested in giving a presentation?”
“Would you like to sit on a panel?”
“You would be a great moderator.”
Let me respond to those in order: No. No. I don’t think so.
At least that’s how I responded in the past when anyone suggested I do anything in the realm of public speaking. But I had a different response last week when a friend approached me about a speaking opportunity. For the first time, I said yes. And I’m excited about it.
I was at Starter Studio in Orlando to meet with some start-up founders I’m mentoring. On my way to one of the meetings, I ran into Donna Mackenzie, who runs Starter Studio and the Canvs co-working space. Donna said she needed someone to give the starters a presentation on storytelling.
She moved in for the close.
“So naturally I thought of the best storyteller I know. JT!”
DOH! Flattery will get you everywhere.
It's possible that Donna asked a dozen other writers and storytellers before she got to me. But if she did, I don’t want to know. I’m going to ride that flattery wave as long as I can.
Seriously, Donna. I don’t want to know.
So I broke new ground by giving an enthusiastic “yes” to a speaking opportunity. And talk about a 180-degree turn. Within a few hours, I was already thinking about how this could be an inflection point in my career. It’s possible that tens of people will be there for my talk. With that exposure and my dynamic personality, the offers will come flowing in from major conferences.
Or from a Rotary Club.
The event will be sometime in late April, so I have a few weeks to procrastinate before panicking the night before. Then again, maybe I won't wait. This thing has me excited. I mean, look what I'm doing here. I'm writing about it. I haven't felt motivated to blog for a while. Now I have the bug. There has to be at least one person in the English-speaking world who is going through the same thing and might benefit from my experience.
I'll either be an inspiration or a cautionary tale. Time will tell.